KOTA KINABALU: There was no need for speeches yesterday – just wreaths to mark the 35th anniversary of Sabah’s worst air tragedy.
A GAF Nomad aircraft which took off from Labuan bound for the state capital with six eminent Sabah leaders and five other passengers on board, crashed while approaching the Kota Kinabalu International Airport on June 6, 1976. There were no survivors.
Sabah’s first Chief Minister Tun Mohammed Fuad Stephens perished in the crash, along with Finance Minister Datuk Salleh Sulong, his permanent secretary Datuk Wahid Peter Andu, Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Peter Mojuntin, Works and Communications Minister Datuk Chong Thain Vun and Assistant Minister to the Chief Minister, Datuk Darius Binion.
Other victims were Fuad’s eldest son Johari Stephens, the director of the State Economic Planning Unit, Dr Syed Hussien Wafa, the private secretary to Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, Ishak Atan, the aircraft’s pilot, Captain Gandhi Nathan and Fuad’s bodyguard, Corporal Said Mohammad.
Today, a monument stands still at the spot where the aircraft, operated by Sabah Air, crashed. It has been dubbed the ‘Double Six Monument’ to mark the ill-fated date and tragedy.
To remember the event, family members and close friends joined by state leaders, would lay wreaths at the monument in memory of those who perished.
Yesterday was no different.
After a 20-second silence, Deputy Chief Minister Dr Yee Moh Chai led the group in laying the first wreath, followed by the representatives from each family. The sombre ceremony might have just taken about 15 minutes, but it had meant a lot to those who were and still are affected by the tragedy.
Among the family members who were present were Fuad’s wife, Toh Puan Hajah Rahimah Stephens, Salleh’s son Iskandar, Mojuntin’s wife Datin Nancy Mojuntin and son Datuk Donald Mojuntin, the Assistant Finance Minister, and Binion’s wife, Datin Jikulin Binion.
sumber : www.theborneopost.com/2011/06/07/‘double-six-tragedy’-remembered/